Self-made men vs the greatest men

27 Oct

“Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest.”–Luke 9:47

Building off of this post

A prominent EO blogger recently repeated himself, saying  “Thinking is not bad, nor is it wrong, but thinking is not the same thing as theology.” 

Of course, I agree.

The Gospel Word of forgiveness that enacts life and salvation is utterly personal, and it cannot be systematized.  It obliterates our earthly categories, for as soon as we categorize the certainty of salvation that it brings, an uncertainty born of our flesh is introduced.  Interestingly, in the synoptic Gospels, the account of the children receiving Jesus – “let the little children come to me” [Matthew 19, Mark 10, Luke 18], and “you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children” [Luke 10:21]) – is always back-to-back with an account of the respectable person of some repute who comes asking what he must do to be saved, looking to justify himself (the desire to do this is explicitly mentioned in Luke 10).  I submit that the Christian is not the “self-made man” who counts, measures and appraises His works or activity as the determining factor which brings security in his relationship with God.  Rather, he is the one, who like the simple child, unpretentiously and unreflectively banks on the Promises of God.  The Christian ultimately depends not on any kind of systematic theology (especially one enslaved by this or that abstract philosophical conception removed from the “rough-and-tumble” of everyday life), but on that word – that doctrine – that is primarily a pledge, “an enacting word that works the certainty of salvation” (Gottfried Martens).

Receive it [like a] baby!

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Posted by on October 27, 2009 in Uncategorized


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